Alfred Hitchcock - Rope (1948) DVDRip (SiRiUs sHaRe).avi
Brandon and Philip are two young men who share a New York apartment. They consider themselves intellectually superior to their friend David Kentley and as a consequence decide to murder him. Together they strangle David with a rope and placing the body in an old chest, they proceed to hold a small party. The guests include David's father, his fiancée Janet and their old schoolteacher Rupert from whom they mistakenly took their ideas. As Brandon becomes increasingly more daring, Rupert begins to suspect.
James Stewart ... Rupert Cadell
John Dall ... Brandon Shaw
Farley Granger ... Phillip Morgan
Cedric Hardwicke ... Mr. Kentley (as Sir Cedric Hardwicke)
Constance Collier ... Mrs. Atwater
Douglas Dick ... Kenneth Lawrence
Edith Evanson ... Mrs. Wilson
Dick Hogan ... David Kentley
Joan Chandler ... Janet Walker
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Codecs: DivX 5 / MP3
Alfred Hitchcock broke boundaries in the movie making industry. He overcame the odds to create not just film, but works of art. He could tell a story like no other and it has been copied ever since. Horror, thrillers, crime, and mysteries were his specialties. His unique sense of how a film should look is unparalleled by any other. One of the most creative and interesting to watch has got to be Rope.
Rope is the story of two young men, Brandan and Phillip (John Dall and Farley Granger), who come together to perform the perfect murder. They're only motive is that they are superior beings like Nietzsche says. So why do they kill they're friend David? Are they really that much above everyone else? They seem to think so, and they're old school master Rupert (James Stewart) gave them the idea in the first place. It seems that Brandan and Phillip have taken it too far.
After strangling David with a piece of rope, they must prepare for the party they are throwing. The food is set, David is placed in a chest in the parlor, and the guests will be arriving soon. One more change is needed to really make this a work of art. The food is moved from the dinning room and placed on top of the chest where David is resting in peace. Mrs. Wilson, the maid, doesn't seem to understand but it is not her job. Now everything is set. All that are needed are their guests, including David's father!
Their friend Kenneth, David's girlfriend/Kenneth's ex-girlfriend Janet, David's father, Mrs. Atwater, and Rupert all arrive and begin to eat. Phillip is in a daze because of the whole situation before hand. He still hasn't quite settled down yet and is very uneasy. Branan on the other hand is quite chirpy, stuttering with so much excitement. The party includes some musical accompaniment from Phillip and talk of David's whereabouts, for he was supposed to be there...alive. He can't believe that he actually pulled it off. All that needs to happen is for the guests to leave and off to the country-side to dispose of David.
Hitchcock has taken Patrick Hamilton's play and made it into an absolute masterpiece. Hitchcock had to take out some elements to the characters of Brandan and Phillip, mainly their homosexuality. Originally on stage the two are homosexuals but because of the time in which the movie was made in, it had to be adjusted to suit American standards. Europe already had addressed the issue in movies, but the US hadn't made it that far yet.
The real standout of this picture has got to be the cinematography. The entire movie is basically filmed in one continuous shot. The camera moves around with the characters over the apartment. It is made to look like you would see it on stage. You see everything going on and hear everything, just focus your attention on the characters that are speaking of moving around. The only time Hitchcock would stop the camera was when a person would walk by it would zoom in on their back for a second of two, just so the whole movie wasn't filmed non-stop, and made editing very simple. There is only one setting for the whole movie so you know exactly what is going on everywhere at all times. You can feel the suspense thickening as the men's secret is close to being exposed.
Rope is a perfect film and couldn't have fallen into better hands than Alfred Hitchcock. His vision to make a movie based on a play surpasses all other attempts at making this conversion. The film runs only 80 minutes but nonetheless is exhilarating from beginning to end. Unfortunately due to the homosexual references, the movie didn't do as well as it should have, but left its mark in cinema history. Don't let this one get away!
This movie is always brushed aside as "minor", and "an experiment that failed", EVEN by Hitchcock himself. I can't let that mistaken judgment stand.
I have seen it many times over the years and always found it moving and disturbing but never analyzed why it had this effect. On viewing it again tonight immediately after watching To Catch a Thief, I became aware that Rope remains brilliant whereas the other movie was merely a pretty and lightweight, average 50's period piece.
The really strange thing is that Hitchcock's movies fall into certain distinct periods which have been written about at length (from early British to late Hollywood; from suspenseful dramas to macabre comedies), but this does not fit into any of them. It is a forties movie, like Saboteur, yet it is shot in colour so it looks like a much later film. To everyone, forties equals black and white. This is a stage play and takes place all in a one room set, but there is the remarkable effect of the huge window which shows the sun going down in real time over the course of the movie, over Manhattan buildings. This is of course done carefully with special lighting effects, but it gives the perfect illusion of the sun setting. It is just that there are fewer skyscrapers there than we would see today.
Some of the slang is dated (but charming), and such elements as a cigarette case could never play a part in a movie made today, but even with these few period references it seems to be a very modern film. The subject matter was horrifying and shocking for 1948, but is rather less so now, as we are unfortunately used to seeing gore and mindless violence. The homosexual subtext would now be played overtly, but the way it is filmed gives it a more ominous atmosphere than movies which have everything spelled out.
This is a movie filled with suspense from the first frame, without any extraneous footage. All the dialogue sounds genuine, not "stagey" as most plays generally do when made into movies. Examples: Glengarry Glen Ross, Oleanna, Boys in the Band etc. All good movies, but all scream out "filmed stage play - actors emoting!" whereas this movie simply draws you into its scenes of gradually dawning horror. I doubt if any Hitchcock film contains more pure tragedy and pathos, or a stronger moral message.
It is a powerfully modern film and yet it is 52 years old. Even the dinner party repartee is filled with wry comments that would not be out of place at a dinner party today - about such topics as the astrological signs of movie stars.
Yet under the witty dialogue is an undertone of tragic irony as the two hosts play an elaborate and secret prank on their guests, simply for their own smug satisfaction.
But it isn't simply the two hosts being in on it together; they are at odds, they bicker, and we are kept on edge because (as Hitchcock wants us to) we are forced to empathize with them to a degree, as well as hating them; we are fascinated by their quirks, played out in subtle nervousness. In taking us into the minds of the criminals as well as the minds of the innocent bystanders, we are left in torment for the horrifying state of humanity, until finally we are forced to take sides.
There are so many brilliant touches in this movie that I can only list a few (without giving anything away). Jimmy Stewart idly setting the metronome in motion as Farley Granger plays the piano, making him play faster and faster while he questions him. The preoccupied worrying of Sir Cedric Hardwicke as he looks out the window hoping to see his son, who is late, as the others chatter; the gradual coming together of the estranged couple who were hostile about each other's presence at the beginning; the unbearable tension as the plates and candles are being cleared away by the housekeeper while the guests and hosts are heard conversing off camera.
The devastation in Jimmy Stewart's face as he realizes that his careless armchair philosophy has fed the imagination of two unstable minds and therefore he too is guilty.
I can't say enough good about this film. It is underappreciated, never on any list of Hitchcock's greatest, but the time is long overdue for it to be appreciated as a masterpiece of suspense and art.
It has none of the irritating Hollywood production glossiness of otherwise great movies such as Vertigo and North by Northwest, none of the blatant psychological mood shots of films such as Marnie. It doesn't have the simplistic filmmaking style of the forties and yet it springs from that era, not fitting in with anything else from the period, decades ahead of its time.
* Director Cameo: [Alfred Hitchcock] His profile appears on a neon sign visible through the apartment window approximately 55 minutes into the movie. Some sources indicate that he also appears walking down the street during the opening credits.
* Story was very loosely based on the real-life murder committed by University of Chicago students Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb, which was also the (fictionalized) subject of _Compulsion (1959)_ and Swoon (1992).
* The film was shot in ten takes, ranging from four-and-a-half to just over ten minutes (the maximum amount of film that a camera magazine or projector reel could hold) duration. At the end of the takes, the film alternates between having the camera zoom into a dark object, totally blacking out the lens/screen, and making a conventional cut. However, the second edit, ostensibly one of the conventional ones, was clearly staged and shot to block the camera, but the all-black frames were left out of the final print. Most of the props, and even some of the apartment set's walls, were on casters and the crew had to wheel them out of the way and back into position as the camera moved around the set.
* Alfred Hitchcock's inspiration for the long takes came from a BBC Television broadcast of "Rope" in 1939. The producer, Dallas Bower, decided on the technique in order to keep the murder chest constantly in shot.
* Although the film lasts 80 minutes and is supposed to be in "real time", the time frame it covers is actually longer - a little more than 100 minutes. This is accomplished by speeding up the action: the formal dinner lasts only 20 minutes, the sun sets too quickly and so on. The September 2002 issue of Scientific American contains a complete analysis of this technique (and the effect it has on the viewers, who actually feel as if they watched a 100-minutes movie).
* There are only two intentionally visible cuts during the main body of the movie: One when the maid enters to announce a telephone call, another after James Stewart narrates his theory on how the murder was committed. Other than those two, there is a cut at the beginning of the film going from outside the apartment to inside, a cut when Janet arrives, and a cut when the Atwells arrive.
* When Janet and Mrs. Atwater are discussing their favorite leading men in movies, they bring up Cary Grant, and how brilliant he was in "that new thing with (Ingrid) Bergman." Neither can recall the title, but it's just plain "something" (meaning only one word). This refers to Alfred Hitchcock's earlier movie, Notorious (1946). Grant had also been Hitchcock's first choice for the role of Rupert Cadell.
* During filming, the cast had to avoid tripping on cables that laid over the floor, because of the moving cameras and lighting.
* Screenwriter Arthur Laurents claims that the actress that played the maid used to be treated like one by the other actors, while shooting.
* Screenwriter Arthur Laurents assures that in the original play, the character of Cadell (played by James Stewart) allegedly had an affair with one of the two murderers while in school.
* Alfred Hitchcock only managed to shoot roughly one segment per day. The last four or five segments had to be completely re-shot because Hitchcock wasn't happy with the color of the sunset.
* The film was unavailable for decades because its rights (together with four other pictures of the same period) were bought back by Alfred Hitchcock and left as part of his legacy to his daughter Patricia Hitchcock. They've been known for long as the infamous "5 lost Hitchcocks" amongst film buffs, and were re-released in theatres around 1984 after a 30-year absence. The others are The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), Rear Window (1954), The Trouble with Harry (1955), and Vertigo (1958).
* Alfred Hitchcock's first color film.
* The picture was filmed entirely in-studio (except for the opening credits). The clouds that you see out the window are made out of fiberglass. For the effect of a police siren coming towards the apartment building at the end, Alfred Hitchcock had an ambulance come at full speed, from several blocks away, straight to the Warner Brothers studio, siren blaring all the way. The sounds were picked up by a microphone suspended from the studio gate.
* Alfred Hitchcock made an opening romantic scene in Central Park with Joan Chandler (Janet Walker) and Dick Hogan (David Kentley). The scene was used for the 1948 promotional trailer but deleted in the film.
* Cary Grant was the first choice to play the role of the teacher, Rupert Cadell.
* Montgomery Clift was the original choice to play Brandon Shaw.
* Since the filming times were so long, everybody on the set tried their best to avoid any mistakes. At one point in the movie, the camera dolly ran over and broke a cameraman's foot, but to keep filming, he was gagged and dragged off. Another time, a woman puts her glass down but misses the table. A stagehand had to rush up and catch it before the glass hit the ground. Both parts are used in the finial cut.
* The theatrical trailer features footage shot specifically for the advertisement that takes place before the beginning of the movie. David (the victim) sits on a park bench and speaks with Janet before leaving to meet Brandon and Phillip. James Stewart narrates the sequence, noting that's the last time Janet and the audience would see him alive.
* The film was banned in a number of American cities because of the implied homosexuality of Phillip (Farley Granger) and Brandon (John Dall).
* The play, originally entitled "Rope" when it played in London, was re-titled "Rope's End" when it went to Broadway.
* The apartment set showed up the following year, slightly re-furbished, in the Doris Day movie "My Dream Is Yours".
# SPOILER: The screenwriter Arthur Laurents claimed that originally Hitchcock assured him the movie wouldn't show the murder itself, therefore creating doubt as to whether the two leading characters actually committed murder and whether the trunk had a corpse inside.
# SPOILER: Dick Hogan's cameo as the murder victim, David Kentley, is his last appearance in a film.